Terrie Banhazi sued The American Ceramic Society (“ACS”) in 2016, saying that ACS infringed her patent (U.S. 7,622m237) covering transfer of images onto glossy (e.g. ceramic) surfaces. Her company, Heriloom Ceramics, sells multi-surface transfer papers for accepting and transferring laser-printer images into ceramic products. A bench trial was held in November 2021, and Judge Burroughs found the claims to be valid and found ACS to have induced infringement. She awarded $161.939.52 to Banhazi, entering final judgment on May 10, 2022.
Banhazi then moved under FRCP 59(e) for pre- and post-judgment interest, future royalties, and further discovery. Judge Burroughs noted that, while most arguments presented for the first time in a Rule 59(e) motion to amend judgment are deemed waived, prejudgment interest is an exception and may be considered for the first time on such a motion. Prejudgment interest is generally awarded unless the patentee unduly delayed in filing and prosecuting suit. While here the plaintiff had waited several years from becoming aware of the infringement to file suit, ACS failed to show that there was any prejudice in the delay – namely, failed to show that it would have ceased infringement had suit been filed earlier. Accordingly, she determined that prejudgment interest was warranted. She declined, however, to apply the Massachusetts statutory rate of 12%, finding it overly high, and instead applied the prime rate, compounded annually. Pre-judgment interest of $61,761.16 was awarded. She further awarded post-judgment interest at a 2.1% rate, to be applied to both the damages and the pre-judgment interesst, and awarded on-going royalties at the same rate as set forth in the Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law. Judge Burroughs denied Banhazi’s motion for further discovery, however, finding that Rule 59(e) did not provide for such.
SHARE THIS POST